NFP Leader slams PM
Thursday 15th October 2020
Inhumane, insensitive, unjust and a total lack of social responsibility is how the National Federation Party has described Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his government’s response to plea for help from a terminated Fiji Airways flight attendant.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad said Mr Bainimarama’s comment that he couldn’t interfere with the decision of the Fiji Airways Board and Management in terminating the workers and then advertising their jobs to recruit new flight attendants showed this government’s total lack of empathy for the unemployed, poor and the down-trodden.
“Basically, the PM told the pleading flight attendant that he was powerless to intervene and ask Fiji Airways to re-hire terminated flight attendants”.
“This is a sick joke because the airline is owned by the Government of Fiji, which is responsible for its operations and actions. The airline comes under the responsibility of the Economy Minister whose boss is the PM”.
“Is the PM now saying that he cannot intervene and tell the Economy Minister to direct the Board to treat terminated workers with decency and accord them fair t and just treatment?”
“Wasn’t it under the doctrine of responsibility that his Government, through the Economy Minister bring to Parliament a motion to approve a $455 million government guarantee for the airline on 25th May – ironically the very day Fiji Airways summarily dismissed almost 800 workers without even honouring the Collective Agreement with their union in terms of paying them a redundancy package?”
“If the PM now says he cannot interfere with the decision of the Board and Management, why did he on 26th May make a public statement endorsing the terminations by saying Fiji Airways had no other option?”
“And why on the same day did he say that when things get back to normal as soon as possible, everyone who have lost their jobs can return?”
“Four and a half months later, it has been proven that the statement by PM was hollow because of his inability to do anything to ensure terminated workers are recruited back into the workforce by the airline that recently advertised for flight attendants”.
“This is from the Head of a government that prides itself of leaving no one behind”.
“Now the PM has shown that his government doesn’t have the morality and ethics of social responsibility to ease the despair, pain and suffering of our many thousands of unemployed workers and their families”.
“The PM has shown that he doesn’t care if workers receive a kick to their guts from even a Government owned entity”.
“Mr Bainimarama must know that the buck stops with him. If any of his Ministers fail to ensure that agreements in respect of enhancing the livelihood of workers are adhered to, they should resign, just as the then Finance Minister Charles Walker did in 1983 when it came to implementing the Nicole & Hurst job evaluation exercise in the civil service”.
“But we know this won’t happen because this is the government that has prescribed through parliament, Covid-19, as an Act of God, legitimising arbitrary dismissals, non-payment of redundancy packages and casualising employment”.
Authorised by: -
Professor Biman Prasad